Friday, January 05, 2007


Seahorses are marine fish belonging to the genus Hippocampus of the family Syngnathidae, which also includes pipefish. They are found in temperate and tropical waters all over the world.
Seahorses range in size from 16 mm to 35 cm. Seahorses and pipe fishes are notable for being the only species in which males become "pregnant”. The seahorse is a true fish, with a dorsal fin located on the lower body and pectoral fins located on the head near their gills. Some species of seahorse are partly transparent and are rarely seen in pictures.
Seahorse populations have been endangered in recent years by over fishing. The seahorse is used in traditional Chinese herbology, and as many as 20 million seahorses may be caught each year and sold for this purpose.
Import and export of seahorses has been controlled under CITES since May 15, 2004.Sea dragons are close relatives of seahorses but have bigger bodies and leaf-like appendages which enable them to hide among floating seaweed or kelp beds. Sea dragons feed on larval fishes and amphipods, such as small shrimp-like crustaceans called mysids, sucking up their prey with their small mouths. Many of these amphipods feed on red algae that thrives in the shade of the kelp forests where the sea dragons live.


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